- 05 Oct 17
Ed Power was impressed with the indie heroes' first night in Dublin
The transparent webbing spiralling from the roof of the stage was the perfect metaphor for the band half-concealed behind. Grizzly Bear have through their career balanced a deep-set coyness – the spotlight is not their natural home – with their status as taste-maker cause célèbre. They shoot for obscurity yet are beloved by the masses.
Their relationship with mainstream acclaim has been often fraught. Between 2012’s Shields album and this year’s Painted Ruins, these formative members of the once voguish Brooklyn scene scattered geographically and had more or less disbanded as a creative entity. They have little interest in being your favourite purveyors of outsider pop.
Painted Ruins is in part a rumination on frontman Ed Droste’s recent divorce – its cathartic logueurs off set by the group’s facility for sweet, escapist digression. All of their contradictions were on fascinating display as they kicked off their world tour at Vicar Street, the affable singer and his companions tiptoeing between abrasive new compositions and a catalogue of lush oddities.